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How to adjust a pattern for large upper arms
Heavenly Design
Heavenly Design  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/7/14 5:31 PM

I have been tasked with making a bolero from a stretch satin for a bridal gown. The arms have been the issue with anything ready to wear. I have adjusted patterns before but never to increase the size of the upper arm. Any tips, tricks or advice? I'm using Simplicity pattern # 2442.

DonnaH
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DonnaH
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Date: 7/7/14 5:44 PM

Does the armscye fit? Sometimes it is also too small, but not always.

I usually need to expand the upper arm, but not the armscye. I draw a line across the pattern, perpendicular to the grainline and slash and spread from it (down towards the sleeve hem), but that only works for a small addition.

When I've needed to add more than an inch, I've added it to the sleeve seam, starting where the seam meet under the arm and going out diagonally until about halfway to the elbow then stay parallel to the original seam line for the rest of the sleeve.

I'm guessing neither is "correct" but it works for me.

LauraTS
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Date: 7/7/14 6:10 PM

Betzina's Fast Fit and FFRP both address this issue. There have been several threads on this topic in the past too - might give the boards a search and see what comes up. I usually enlarge the armscye and the sleeve (I'm tall anyway) and then if I need even more room do the slash vertically and horizontally across the sleeve cap thing and spread the remaining needed.

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KiwiWendy
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Date: 7/7/14 8:37 PM

I left a tip on how I do my large alteration, but I don't know how to find it with the new PR layout

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a7yrstitch
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In reply to KiwiWendy <<
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Date: 7/7/14 9:01 PM

I'll do this and bump any threads I find as this has been discussed recently........

Go to Forums tab
At bottom, click on Search Forums
Enter a word or phrase to search - sleeves, sleeve adjustment, large arms, large biceps......
Scroll to Pattern Modifications and click on that (or search all forums.
Enter your name (or another name or , even, no name).

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KiwiWendy
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In reply to a7yrstitch <<
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Date: 7/7/14 10:40 PM

I wrote a fitting tip, not just a comment with link in the forum.

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goosegreen
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In reply to KiwiWendy <<
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Date: 7/8/14 1:37 AM

Would this be the one?

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petro
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Date: 7/8/14 2:25 AM

A way to increase the width across the upper arm in a pattern is to slash the sleeve through vertically leaving a little unslashed bit at the top and bottom as hinges, then do the same horizontally, underarm point to underarm point. Open the middle to allow extra room. This causes the sleeve head to flatten slightly, but it is still the same curve. The pieces overlap at an angle.
This works well for a small increase - the width at the wrist is not increased. The measurement of the crown curve will be the same as it was.

As written above, you need to check if the armhole is right first. If that is too tight it can be increased by lowering the underarm point slightly (sleeve adjusted too), or in difficult cases, where sloping shoulders make the true armhole measurement smaller, consider a small shoulder pad, so that you can get a larger armhole to stitch a larger sleeve into.

KiwiWendy
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In reply to goosegreen <<
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Date: 7/8/14 2:35 AM

that's the one! I have to add 3.5-4cm to every sleeve and the simple slash & spread just doesn't work with this size adjustment - the sleeve head ends up too low. yes there's more ease with this version, but my bicep is large not my armscye.

I'm actually shorter than average between shoulder & underarm so I have to shorten the bodice pattern front & back. As my shoulders are narrow but square I have to leave the sleeve cap height unchanged as the shoulder alteration means I need the height on the sleeve. It took a few attempts to figure out what my fit issues where and how one thing impacts the other, but now I've got a good concept of where I need to start with everything I make. And a better understanding of why 99.9% of Ready To Wear just looks dreadful on me

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Sydney, Australia

geniknits
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Date: 7/8/14 8:26 AM

Really the fastest easiest AND in my opinion best way is to measure a garment sleeve that fits the way you want it to. Then find the pattern pieces(bodice AND sleeve), and trace the armscye onto the bodice you are using by lining up the shoulder seams and the side seams. This method ensures you get a proper fitting garment.
Good luck

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